By Stacey Ramirez
Web Content Contributor
Every year since April 1999 people have gathered in Indio, California, for one of the biggest music festivals in the world, The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. This year marks the 20-year anniversary of the festival.
For two weekends we see some of the biggest names in music perform at this festival. If you’re one of the lucky ones you get to be there in person, while many others watch from their screen as their feeds on social media fill up with festival outfits and performances.
For many going to Coachella is big goal in their life. So, it’s disappointing each year your one of the many that doesn’t get to go, but this year was different. Congratulations technically you didn’t miss Coachella this year.
Instead of what would have been weekend one of Coachella, YouTube brought us “#Couchella” to our homes. On Friday Apr. 10, the documentary “Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert” premiered on YouTube. We see Coachella long before it became the popularized holy ground for influencers.
This documentary takes us to the very beginning before the idea for the festival even existed. Back when music festivals were barely a thing in America,except for Woodstock, which because of the controversy that’s surrounded it is why music festivals almost never existed or became as popular as they were in Europe.
Goldenvoice, the promotion company that founded Coachella initially began wanting to just host bands that weren’t getting recognition in the LA area. That’s how we learn about Coachella indie and rock music roots. They also saw the techno and electronic scene growing in Europe and thought they could help nurtur the rave scene in America.
Both of these genres already had a bad rep reputation with the news for riots and drugs, but Goldenvoice didn’t just want to silence this music. Many of the first act at the festival were small or up and coming names that would later become major headliners all over America like Björk and Oasis.
But it’s true before Coachella was hosting Ariana Grande’s pop music it was mainly rock, indie and later electronic.
It also hard to imagine that the music festival we know now that sells out in minutes wasn’t even making a profit the first years it was held. In fact, they would give away tickets just to have people attend.
The documentary shows us how the festival’s milestones evolutionized. How it’s responsible for reuniting bands years after they had broken up or hosting acts like Daft Punk that were almost impossible to book.
It shows us how the festival was always changed to be more inclusive with what music acts they include from growing to include more sub genres of rap to including international act like Bad Bunny.
Featured image by Stacey Ramirez.